Today’s Reading: Acts 5
What does it mean to be a “fearless Christ follower?” Let’s start with what it looks like to be fearless. To be fearless is not the absence of fear. Fearless is action in the presence of fear. To help illustrate this, look at two stories in Acts 5. The first is about Ananias and Sapphira. The second, involves the apostles.
Annanias and Sapphira decided, together, to give the proceeds of a real estate deal to the church. Simple enough, right? The problem is, they didn’t do it. Why not? Consider for a moment that the answer is fear. At the end of Acts 4, we see the church caring for its own. Wealthy people, the ones who owned homes and land, were selling them to provide money for the church. Somewhere, sitting in the congregation is Ananias and Sapphira. The Holy Spirit was at work and they felt what everyone else did. The love of God. They were a part of it. In fact, they wanted to give to it. In that moment, they made a pledge to give the land that they owned.
I imagine them getting home that night feeling great about their decision to give back. It is the right thing to do. Maybe they have a doubt or two creep in. Satan whispers to them, “hey, why did you give so much?” They probably dismissed these early thoughts. If they are anything like me, however, the thoughts continue. I would start thinking about how irresponsible it is to give up so much. I mean, “what about the college funds?” I fear that we‘ll fail to provide enough for them already. Then, I think about retirement. How on earth am I going to fund my life on the little that I have saved. As you can see, fear is tricky. It comes to us masterfully disguised. Ananias and Sapphira, gave in to it.
The apostles stand in stark contrast to Ananias and Sapphira. When faced with opposition, they stood fearless. In Acts 5:29, Peter tells the captain of the guards that no matter the consequences, he will obey God. He didn’t care if they harmed him physically or mentally. Neither of those were as important to him as the truth of God. Peter, as Chet Bandy pointed out to us yesterday had defined the ONE thing about this life on earth. It is that nothing matters except God.
No doubt, today we will be faced with opposition. The question remains how we will choose to deal with it. Will we choose to uphold the Truth and maintain an eternal perspective? The Bible is clear that our failure to do so carries the consequence of death. The apostles, on the other hand, show us that an eternal perspective, armed with Truth gives life. Everyday, in every circumstance.